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京沪双城记

2009-05-17
京沪双城,双城记
京沪双城记
作者:英国《金融时报》杰夫•代尔(Geoff Dyer) 2009-05-14

上海喜欢把自己当成纽约,而把北京比作华盛顿特区。上海人告诉自己:北京是因循守旧的政府官僚中心,而上海则是金融、时尚和文化之都,同时引领着全国流行风尚。

第一次到中国的外国人,离开时往往抱有同样的观点。浦东光彩夺目的摩天大楼,来自全球各地、鳞次栉比的新餐馆,让上海散发出从容自在的国际风范,相比之下,北京就像一个省会城市。

这样的第一印象或许十分诱人。在上海旧日租界所在地外滩,有家魅力酒吧(Glamour Bar),窗子直开到天花板,崭露出浦东的轮廓。在两次不同的场合,都有素昧平生的人向记者请教:如何在这个城市里找到一份工作?他们都是第一次来上海,某种与景色有关的东西,使他们想要改变自己的生活。 

然而,尽管上海让人忍不住浮想联翩,但也不能只把北京视作一个政治中心。实际上,与第一眼看上去的印象相比,北京的吸引力、人才底蕴和影响力都要深厚得多。

不论是在商业还是在文化方面,上海往往屈居北京之后。以金融为例,上海的目标是成为中国的金融之都,人们说起来的时候,常认为上海是要与香港争夺主导地位,争取成为中国企业的主要融资市场。

过去十年,中国内地企业纷纷在港上市,希望借此进入规模更大、也更为稳定的市场,这推动了香港市场的繁荣发展。在全球金融危机爆发之前,上海正开始扭转这种趋势。

但北京才是真正的金融之都。在中国所有融资活动中,商业银行占80%左右,而主要银行的总部都设在北京。此外,北京不仅是各金融监管机构的总部所在地,也是中国多数大型企业的总部所在地。在中国经济中,政府仍以多种形式发挥着巨大作用,这使得北京处于商业活动的中心位置。

外资银行的决策,体现了北京在金融领域的主导地位。那些希望在中国开拓零售业务的银行,如汇丰(HSBC)和花旗集团(Citigroup),扎根在了上海。但那些将中国业务总部设在北京的投资银行和商业银行,同样令人印象深刻:从摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)到摩根大通(JP Morgan),再到瑞银(UBS)。在上海能够接近市场,当地的中层管理人才储备也更为雄厚;而在北京则更便于接触客户和决策层。不论是好是坏,高盛(Goldman Sachs)已成为纽约金融业的象征,而该行将中国总部设在了北京。

上海也在大力吸引研发业务,并取得了不小的成功。仅在制药业,罗氏(Roche)、诺华(Novartis)和葛兰素史克(GlaxoSmithKline)等公司均在上海建立了实验室。

然而,上海又一次面临北京的有力竞争。北京拥有国内最有名的两所大学——北京大学和清华大学,并利用这种资源吸引了大量研发投资。中国在人类基因组计划上的贡献全部来自北京,微软(Microsoft)和IBM等跨国公司选择在北京设立研发中心。

上海有其自身的浮华和魅力,而北京也为人们提供了多姿多彩的文化生活。抽象艺术已成为当代中国主要文化流派之一,而北京是中国最具活力的艺术园地——虽然在金融危机的冲击下,艺术家们已无法再开出天价。中国最有意思的音乐创作地也在北京,当下最火爆的当属垃圾摇滚,有着一种令人耳目一新的狂放风格。

Shanghai V Beijing: A city's appearance can be deceptive
By Geoff Dyer 2009-05-14

Shanghai likes to think of itself as New York to Beijing's Washington DC. Beijing is the buttoned-down, bureaucratic centre of government, so Shanghaiese tell themselves, while Shanghai is the financial, fashion and cultural hub, as well as the nation's arbiter of taste.

Foreigners arriving in China for the first time often come away with the very same view. With the gleaming skyscrapers in Pudong and its conveyor belt of new restaurants from all over the world, Shanghai has an air of easy cosmopolitanism that makes Beijing seem the provincial city.

Those first impressions can be very seductive. On the Bund, Shanghai's old colonial waterfront, there is a place called the Glamour Bar whose ceiling-high windows look on to the Pudong skyline. On two separate occasions, complete strangers on their first visit to Shanghai have approached this correspondent to ask for advice on how to get a job in the city. Something about the view made them want to change their lives.

Yet despite the powerful hold that Shanghai exerts on some imaginations, Beijing cannot be dismissed as just a government town. Indeed, Beijing's attractions, talents and influence are much deeper that first meets the eye.

Whether it is business or culture, Shanghai often plays second fiddle to Beijing. Take finance. Shanghai's aim to become China's financial capital is often spoken of as a struggle for dominance with Hong Kong to see which market will emerge as the main venue for financing Chinese companies.

Hong Kong's market has prospered over the past decade by lisiting Chinese companies that wanted access to a deeper and more stable market, a trend that Shanghai was starting to reverse before the global financial crisis.

But the real financial capital is Beijing. Commercial banks account for about 80 per cent of all financing in China and the main banks are all based in Beijing. Moreover, not only does Beijing host the offices of the financial regulators, it is also home to most of the country's biggest companies. The state in its many forms still plays an emormous role in the Chinese economy which puts Beijing is at the centre of business affairs.

Beijing's dominance in finance is reflected in the decisions of foreign banks. Those looking to build a Chinese retail business, such as HSBC and Citigroup, are in Shanghai. But the list of investment and commercial banks with their base in Beijing is equally impressive, from Morgan Stanley to JP Morgan to UBS. While Shanghai offers closeness to the market and a deeper base of middle-management expertise, Beijing offers easier access to clients and decision-makers. For better or for worse, Goldman Sachs has come to symbolise New York finance, but the bank has its China base in Beijing.

Shanghai is also making a big push to attract research and development activities to the city and it has had considerable success. In the pharmaceuticals sector alone, Roche, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline have all established laboratories in Shanghai.

But, again, Shanghai faces stiff competition from Beijing. The capital has the country's two most famous universities – Beijing University and Tsinghua – and the city has used such resources to attract substantial R&D investments. China's contribution to the human genome project was run out of Beijing, while multinationals which have chosen the city as their research hubs include Microsoft and IBM.

For all Shanghai's glamour and glitz, Beijing also offers a broader cultural life. Abstract art has become one of the main cultural signatures of modern China and it is Beijing that is home to the country's most vibrant art scene – even if the financial crisis has knocked the stuffing out of the exorbitant prices artists were able to charge. Beijing is also home to China's most interesting music scene, dominated by a sort of grunge rock with a refreshing degree of irreverence.


北京文化上的吸引力部分源自于其首都地位。由于北京是首都,主要媒体机构都设在这里,同时这里还聚集着大批试图影响政策的学术及非政府团体。京沪两地在政治体系和审查力度方面并无不同,但在北京,精英阶层有关国家未来的谈话要深刻得多。 

某些情况下,中共奇怪的管理方式也对北京有利。在上海,一个艺术项目要获得必要的批准,唯一的途径是通过市文化局的审查。但在北京,存在地方政府和中央政府相互较劲的权力中心,聪明的艺术家有时可以从中挑拨,以获得所须的批准。

但尽管如此,上海从很多方面说都更适于居住。十多年来,城市保护运动在这里开展得如火如荼。虽然大片老城区已被拆毁,但保护主义者已迫使市当局更多地考虑保留老街区,设法修复建筑物,而不是将它们夷为平地,以便修建更多已数不胜数的高楼。

这一点值得北京学习。为迎接奥运会,北京近年来刚刚大兴土木,完成了一批建设与改造工程。

译者/岱嵩
京沪双城记
Shanghai V Beijing: A city's appearance can be deceptive
By Geoff Dyer 2009-05-14
Some of Beijing's cultural pulling power comes from its position as the capital. As a result of its status, the main media organisations are in Beijing and so are a large number of the intellectuals and non-government groups that want to try to influence policy. The political system and level of censorship are no different between the two cities, but the elite-level conversation about the future of the country is much deeper in Beijing.

The quirks of Communist party control also sometimes help Beijing. To get the necessary approval for an artistic project in Shanghai, the only route is to go through the city's culture bureau. But in Beijing, there are competing centres of power at local and central government level that savvy artists can sometimes play off against each other to obtain the necessary stamps.

Yet for all that, Shanghai is in lots of ways a more liveable city. For more than a decade, it has had a vigorous conservation movement. And while large swathes of the city's traditional areas have been knocked down, the conservationists have forced it to think a lot more about the value of retaining older neighbourhoods and trying to restore the buildings rather than raze them in favour of more endless high-rises.

It is a lesson that Beijing, which has just been through a whirlwind of construction and modernisation in preparation for the Olympics, could take more notice of.
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